Civic bodies may face heat for not installing harvesting units
Surprisingly, the various government agencies in the city, which were expected to lead the WHS scheme, due to <g data-gr-id="55">alarming</g> rate of dropping water level have installed the facility only in very small fractions of their properties.
The decision will adversely impact the cash-strapped MCDs as DJB charges commercial rate of water bill on almost all of their properties, including hospitals, schools, offices and parks.
“We have raised this issue before the DJB as hospitals <g data-gr-id="66">don’t</g> perform commercial activities, but they keep on charging us commercial rate of water bills,” said YS Mann, spokesperson of North and East MCDs. As per the information provided by the North MCD, it has WHS only on 91 <g data-gr-id="65">premises,</g> while East MCD has it only on 36 premises. “We have planned WHS in 47 more premises in North MCD and nine premises in East MCD,” informed Mann.
There are over 1,200 school buildings in the three MCDs while <g data-gr-id="53">number</g> of eligible buildings for WHS run in thousands and even MCDs have not compiled any such data. South MCD has WHS only in 96 out of 6,475 parks in its area.
“A consumer of the DJB, having a plot or property size of 500 <g data-gr-id="61">sq</g> <g data-gr-id="63">metre</g> or more, shall make a provision for rainwater harvesting system, covering the entire plot. The deadline for commercial and industrial properties was fixed for one <g data-gr-id="62">year,</g> while it was three years for residential properties,” said SS Yadav, Chief Executive Officer of the Delhi Jal Board.
The rule to make the mandatory installation of WHS and penalty was made in Delhi Water & Sewer (Tariff & Metering) Regulation Act 2012, but the execution was delayed for around one year.
“We are implementing the penalty clause on commercial and industrial properties from current billing <g data-gr-id="47">cycle,</g> while for residential properties it will be implemented from October,” he added.
Interestingly, DJB too has installed the facility only in 42 <g data-gr-id="49">per cent</g> of its identified premises. “WHS is installed in 165 offices of <g data-gr-id="59">DJB,</g> while 226 more premises have been identified where the system <g data-gr-id="50">in feasible</g>. We will install the facility in these premises in the next two years,” added Yadav.
The Public Works Department (PWD) of the Delhi government has 681 school buildings, 33 hospitals and 87 dispensaries besides being responsible for maintenance of all the offices of Delhi government including those in the districts.
“There is no such compiled data on how many buildings have <g data-gr-id="39">WHS</g> but most of them should have it,” said Ravi Mathur, spokesperson of PWD.
“All buildings, even government offices spread over 500 <g data-gr-id="37">sqm</g> but have no WHS, will be charged 1.5 times of water bill,” said RS Tyagi, member, water and sewer, Delhi Jal Board.
The board has also announced to provide 10 <g data-gr-id="44">per cent</g> rebate on water bills to commercial and industrial properties of over 1,000 <g data-gr-id="43">sqm</g> area having functional WHS, for which 70 units have applied so far.